My daughter is 4 and refuses to poo poo in the potty. Any advice?

Lacey - posted on 08/21/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )




My daughter just turned 4 in June. She is very smart, and can do just about anything she wants to do. The problem is she refuses to poo poo in the potty. She pees pees fine. Please help! She has to start kindergarten next year, and I don't know what to do. Any advice?


Kyleigh - posted on 08/21/2011




you are so not alone; developmentally some 4 year olds cannot poop yet in the toilet and want a diaper to do so.The reason the diaper helps is she can feel when to contract her rectal muscles and knows the right amount of pressure in order to release the poop as she pushes down on the diaper. The hollow toilet seat doesn’t give her this advantage.

Standing & moving on her ‘tippy toes’ helps the stool move through the intestines and out. Respect her technique, after all, Italian women never even sit on the toilet, they always stand! Don’t ask her why she thinks it is scary. Instead, just remember to help her differentiate between unrealistic fears and realistic fears. An example would be to tell her, “If you are not holding mom’s hand in the parking lot of the mall that is scary. But pooping in the toilet is not scary, because you are in a safe place, our home or a private bathroom when you are out in public”.

You are obviously a thoughtful, caring parent who has recognized that accomplishing this task is never about bribing your child; it is about her owning this accomplishment. It is her body and she controls this for herself. So give her lots of other places to get control, like making placemats for the whole family or feeding the dog, so she doesn’t feel like she has to hold on to the poop to get control.

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